Frederick Lawrence Pomeroy Collection

Cover Image:
Frederick Lawrence Pomeroy Collection
Letter to B.B. Mitchell from Walter Nichols - Image Source

Collection Facts

Dates of Original:
c. 1890 - 1920

Historical Context

Frederick Lawrence Pomeroy (1855-1906) was born in Cortland, NY and later lived in Brooklyn. Pomeroy was the nephew of Lemuel Strong Pomeroy, a noted abolitionist. At the time of his death, he was Assistant General Traffic Manager with the New York Central Railroad. The Interstate Commerce Act of 1887 made the railroads the first industry subject to federal regulation. In 1906, in the first case filed under this act, the New York Central Railroad was convicted of giving “rebates” to the American Sugar Company and fined. As part of the judgment, Pomeroy was also fined $6,000. The stress of the trial is said to have contributed to his untimely death. In his 1906 State of the Union address, President Theodore Roosevelt, while agreeing with the fine imposed in the railroad, decried the imposition of a fine on Pomeroy. Roosevelt expressed the opinion that Pomeroy acted “in accordance with[…] the wishes of his employer.”

Scope of Collection

The Frederick Lawrence Pomeroy Collection consists of family correspondence, news clippings about the General Pomeroy Monument, telegrams, and transcripts of sermons. The collection is of interest to those studying the Interstate Commerce Act of 1887 and the “trust-busting” practices of Roosevelt as it gives some insight into standard business practices of the time and the effect of the conviction on Pomeroy and his family. Mrs. Ophelia Pomeroy maintained a correspondence with Rev. Albert Lyman, a prominent Congregationalist minister, and many of his letters are found in the collection.